Formed in the west country of England in 1969, Magic Muscle mixed classical nuances with Blue Cheer noise levels, thus creating a musical paradox enhanced by the band’s peculiar abilities. With so many musicians passing through over the years, Magic Muscle were more of a community than a band, but at the centre of all activities was guitarist and vocalist Rod Goodway (ex-Artwoods, White Rabbit, J.P. Sunshine, Rustic Hinge), Adrian Shaw (later Hawkwind) on bass and drummer Kenny Wheeler. Working with Drachen Theaker (Crazy World Of Arthur Brown) and members of High Tide they began to gig and record, coming to the attention of disc jockey John Peel, who nearly signed them to his Dandelion label. By 1972 they had built a strong cult following and earned themselves the nickname ‘Bastard Sons Of Hawkwind’ when they joined the latter on their Space Ritual tour (tracks from which are present on Laughs & Thrills). They also started a partnership with Keith Christmas. This brought them to the attention of Island Records - though proprietor Chris Blackwell eventually chose to promote Jamaican music at this stage instead, signing Bob Marley. In 1973 Magic Muscle gigged with the Pink Fairies and for a while were joined by John Perry (Only Ones) and violinist Simon House (High Tide/ Third Ear Band /Hawkwind/ David Bowie). By the end of the year Goodway was ill in hospital and ended the band. It was 1987 before the name returned, thanks to the surge in interest in the recording activities of many ex-members connected with Hawkwind. After the relative success of Laughs & Thrills Goodway undertook the compilation of an album released in 1988 which featured 1970-1973 recordings. A year later he re-formed the band with Gower/Shaw/House and drummer Twink (Pink Fairies/ Pretty Things / Tomorrow). Their debut concert was held in Bath on 1 August and was recorded and released as One Hundred Miles Below. Dave Brock of Hawkwind played keyboards at the gig but his contribution did not appear on the finished album. Riding high on their new-found fame Goodway released a second compilation set, Living Weeds From Ancient Seeds, some of the tracks therein featuring members of Elias Hulk and Dr. John’s band. In 1991 he returned with a new line-up which featured Steve Broughton on drums (Edgar Broughton Band) and guitarist Nick Saloman (aka Bevis Frond). By 1994 Goodway had returned to other pursuits while the rest of the band effectively became the new line-up for the Bevis Frond.
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